June 1, 2018

Thailand to send durian space

Durian in space: Thailand to send smelly fruit into orbit Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The thorny durian has been commonly dubbed the world's smelliest fruit Imagine being trapped in a spaceship with the world's smelliest fruit. Thailand's space research agency has just announced plans to send durian to space by July, as part of a project to produce Thai food suitable for future space travel. The baked durian will stay in space for five minutes before coming back to Earth, where scientists will see if it has undergone any textural changes. Durian, known for its strong, stinky smell, is native to South East Asia. According to local media reports, the fruit will be launched into space via a rocket made by a US company. Image copyright GISTDA Image caption The baked and packaged durian will skyrocket into space for no more than five minutes Thailand is not yet in the group of nations to have been to space, but they are making sure the catering is in place for..
May 31, 2018

Indian sailor stuck on ship for 15 months

Sailor stranded on ship at Great Yarmouth for 15 months Image copyright PA Image caption Captain Nikesh Rastogi said if he were to leave the ship, it would be deemed a derelict A sailor has been stranded aboard a ship moored in Norfolk for more than 15 months amid a legal dispute. The Indian-owned Malaviya Twenty has been detained in Great Yarmouth docks since it arrived in June 2016. Capt Nikesh Rastogi was part of a 13-strong replacement crew for the ship contracted in February 2017. The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) said 33 crew members had been on and off the vessel since October 2015 and had not been paid. Capt Rastogi, 43, from Mumbai, said if he were to leave the ship, it would be deemed a derelict. He said anybody would then be able to take it over. Image copyright PA Image caption Capt Rastogi said he and his crew mates had not been paid since last year Capt Rastogi said the ship's owners fell into liquidation and his employers withdrew from ope..
May 31, 2018

ANZ bank denies ‘criminal cartel’ allegation in Australia

ANZ bank denies 'criminal cartel' allegation in Australia Image copyright Reuters One of Australia's biggest banks, ANZ, will be prosecuted over an alleged criminal cartel arrangement, the nation's consumer watchdog says. Both the bank and a senior official are facing charges over the trading of its own shares, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said. ANZ said it would defend the charges against the bank and its employee. Australia's banking sector is currently the subject of a royal commission inquiry into widespread misconduct. Two undisclosed companies and a "number of other individuals" are also expected to be charged by prosecutors, the ACCC said on Friday. "The charges will involve alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares following an ANZ institutional share placement in August 2015," chairman Rod Sims said in a statement. "It will be alleged that ANZ and the individuals were knowingly concerned in some or all ..
May 31, 2018

Sultan of Yogyakarta: A feminist revolution in an ancient kingdom

Sultan of Yogyakarta: A feminist revolution in an ancient kingdom Image copyright Getty Images Image caption 'I am very lucky to have parents that never said that is not a women's job.' The Sultan of Yogyakarta holds a powerful political and spiritual position on the Indonesian island of Java. He is manoeuvring to make his eldest daughter his heir, sparking a bitter feud, as the BBC's Indonesia editor Rebecca Henschke reports. "From generation to generation the sultan who reigns over Yogyakarta seems to adapt himself to the changing of times," says Wedono Bimo Guritno quietly as he ushers me through the elaborate palace complex. He is one of the nearly 1,500 abdi dalam, members of the royal court. A keris, a sacred Javanese dagger, is tucked into his sarong. "In the past it was not difficult to choose a prince, because in the past, the sultan had more than one wife," Wedono Bimo Guritno tells me. We duck under low gateways into a maze of tree-lined courtyards surro..
May 31, 2018

Planting a forest on the Aral’s dried-out seabed

Planting a forest on the Aral's dried-out seabed Image caption The town of Moynaq was once Uzbekistan's main fishing port on the Aral Sea The loss of the Aral Sea in central Asia is an ecological disaster. Toxic chemicals in the exposed sea bed have caused widespread health problems. Can an ambitious project to plant millions of trees save the Karakalpak people of Uzbekistan? Seventy-eight-year-old Almas Tolvashev shuffles through the sand towards the rusting hulk of a fishing boat. The lighthouse that keeps watch over a crumbling flotilla of 10 or so ships is a stark reminder that Moynaq was once a thriving fishing port on the Aral Sea. "The history of the Karakalpak people starts with the sea," says the former fisherman. "Fishing was the first thing fathers taught their sons". Moynaq lies at the heart of Karakalpakstan, a semi-autonomous republic within Uzbekistan. In its heyday, this is where 98% of Uzbekistan's fish came from. Image caption Seventy-eight-year-old..
May 31, 2018

US confident on plans for Trump-Kim talks

US confident on plans for Trump-Kim talks Image copyright Reuters Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said denuclearisation talks with North Korea are "moving in the right direction". After meeting in New York with a top Pyongyang official, Mr Pompeo said the talks could usher in "a new era of peace, prosperity and security". He said Kim Jong-un's right-hand man was heading to Washington to deliver a letter to President Donald Trump. Gen Kim Yong-chol is the most senior North Korean to visit the US in nearly 20 years. President Trump cancelled plans for a summit on 12 June with the North Korean leader, but both sides are trying to revive the meeting. Scheduled to happen in Singapore, a bilateral between Mr Trump and Mr Kim would be the first between sitting US and North Korean leaders. At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Pompeo said this was a "pivotal moment in our relationship in which it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste". Image copyright A..
May 31, 2018

Pakistan investigates Bahria College exam groping allegations

Pakistan investigates Bahria College exam groping allegations Image copyright iStock/Getty Images Plus Image caption The story has generated a huge discussion about the power examiners have over students (file photo) Pakistan's education department has launched an investigation against an examiner accused of groping several students during their biology exam. Teenagers at one of Islamabad's top schools have accused Sadat Bashir of harassing dozens of students during their final practical exams last week. One student alleged he touched her buttocks and traced her bra strap, and threatened to deduct marks, in a social media post that has gone viral. Mr Bashir has denied the allegations. The female students were taking part in practical biology exams, in their final year at Bahria College. In a Facebook post, one student wrote that Mr Bashir, an invigilator sent by a government examination board, made "sleazy comments" and groped her twice while she was working. Another studen..
May 31, 2018

Anger as film star supports police firing

Rajinikanth: Anger after actor justifies deadly police firing Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Rajinikanth is one of the most popular actors in Asia Officials in Tamil Nadu state have beefed up security at film star Rajinikanth's home after he justified a police decision to fire live bullets into a mass protest last week. The police action killed at least 13 people in the port city of Tuticorin. The star said that "anti-social elements" in the crowd had to be "dealt with an iron hand". The deadly protest against a copper smelting plant in the city caused authorities to shut it down. Locals allege that the Sterlite Copper plant owned by the Vedanta conglomerate has been causing ground water and air pollution. They have been protesting against it for more than 20 years now. Vedanta denies the charges. "The protest against the Sterlite unit was going on peacefully for 100 days, but the rally turned violent [on 22 May ] due to the intrusion of anti-social elements and ended..
May 31, 2018

Shimla water crisis: Tourists warned to avoid top Indian destination

Shimla water crisis: Tourists warned to avoid top Indian destination Image caption Shimla has been in the midst of a water crisis for more than a week Hotels and locals have urged tourists to stay away from the popular Indian tourist city of Shimla as it is suffering a severe water shortage. The Himalayan city has been hit by the crisis for more than a week, causing some hotels to shut. A social media campaign urging tourists to stay away and "let the place breathe for a while" has gone viral. On Tuesday, locals protested outside the chief minister's house and clashed with police. "It'll only get worse as tourists throng the place in large numbers during June, and it will make life really difficult for the locals," read a post that has been widely shared on social media. Image Copyright @NaughtyKiu @NaughtyKiu Report Image Copyright @NaughtyKiu @NaughtyKiu Report Image Copyright @AkSinghrawat007 @AkSinghrawat007 Report Image Copyright @AkSinghrawat007 @AkSinghrawat007 Repor..
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